The trial on a charge of murder concerning a 2014 shooting death will not take place until almost the eighth anniversary of the reported offense.
The case against Carl Allen Welch was rescheduled again Monday until the spring of 2022.
Welch has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder involving the 2014 death of Terry R. Cale of Wills Point. Trial had been scheduled to begin in the 196th District Court on August 16, where it was one of two murder trials scheduled on the same day, and then was reset until Monday for a review hearing, at which time Judge Andrew Bench scheduled the new trial date for April 18, 2022.
The Hunt County Court system is still trying to recover in the wake of a year long hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hunt County currently has 11 capital murder and murder trials pending, with four manslaughter cases and multiple armed robberies, aggravated assaults, child trafficking and more major felonies awaiting trial.
Welch’s murder case has already taken many turns in the process of getting to trial.
A jury had been selected and opening arguments and the start of testimony were planned in late August 2019. But the proceedings were halted and a mistrial in the case was announced.
Bench reset the trial for December 2019.
The defense filed a pretrial application for writ of habeas corpus in the case, seeking relief from double jeopardy. While Bench denied the motion, he did approve an appeal to the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas, which issued its ruling in May — a decision covering 29 pages — denying the petition.
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers conducted the investigation into the homicide.
Cale, 54, was reported to have been shot multiple times outside of a residence on Archer Lane south of Quinlan late on the night of May 16, 2014. Then-Sheriff Randy Meeks said the shooting appeared to have been the result of a domestic disturbance earlier in the evening.
Welch was taken into custody following Cale’s death, was charged with one count of murder and was released on $75,000 bond.
Murder is a first degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison.